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The sub-title 'A tourist guide' describes exactly what this is. It's very practical, with info on what clothes to take, how to rent a car, tipping, visas, locations of interest and locations to stay. I've not (yet) been to Eritrea, but there is plenty of useful info here plus a small general background on history and culture.
Planning a trip to Ethiopia is hard enough, as there is very small available online of in depth information. But, Lonely Planet has answered most of my questions, as usual, which always makes my trips much easier to plan. As a single female traveller, I obtain upset when there isn't a LP tutorial for a certain country and their Ethiopia/Eritrea book does it all!
A wealth of info for my upcoming trip to Ethiopia. However, the font/type is so little that it is impossible to read without a magnifying glass. I always Lonely Planet tutorial books for everywhere I travel, and none of them have this problem. Perhaps the issue arose because they tried to place info about two countries into one book.
I bought this as a Peace Corps Volunteer before going to Ethiopia in 2012. It was cool to look at the locations nearby that I could visit, and it did search some use when my Dad came to visit me and we were looking for amazing hotels in Arba Minch. But to be honest, my best resource for travel and hotel recommendations was my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers who lived in the area.If you're a PCV about to leave for Ethiopia, I would suggest investing in the phrase book and leaving this book at home.But if you're a tourist heading to Ethiopia and don't know anyone who already lives there, I would definitely pick up this book. It all depends on what you're using it for.
Still doing the travel planning. the overviews, history, and maps are all helpful, but it sure would be useful to have some photographs. We were huge fans of Rick Steve's travel book for Spain, and hoped for something similar. Jury is still out on this one, but will test to remember to revise/update review AFTER the hiopia, 5th (Bradt Travel Tutorial Ethiopia) came highly recommended...but only heard of it after already having purchased Lonely Planet.
This book was disappointing. Very very few pictures, outdated visa requirements about yellow fever vaccinations (which I've read elsewhere have never been a requirement), not much primary travel info (like country weather, dress, currency) which is usually covered well in Lonely Planet books, like LP China, for example. The writers are clearly European, but their powerful style leaves me wondering what nuances I may not be picking up on as an American. These omissions create me less confident about the other facts and recommendations given in the book. None of the writers are female, which also makes me wonder if the locations they felt safe would be comfortable to a female traveler. All in all, this book was not as thorough and well researched as other Lonely Planet books I have read and used.
I know the author and was one of his supporters during his time in Eritrea. This book brought back lots of memories of his exploits and experiences, both amazing and bad. The style of writing is unusual but typically Kevin and serves to obtain across the stories of the plight of some of the people he came t always an simple read, but a compelling account.
What I search strange about this book, is the pictures on the cover which are definitely not from Eritrea. Although the book is titled 'Inside Eritrea,' all the pictures on the cover, which are 3 various frames of the same shot seem to have been taken in Addis Ababa. The blue and white minibus taxi in the background, the huge billboard with the Ethiopian flag of green, yellow, and red stripes and the high-rise building under construction indicate that the picture is necessarily taken somewhere in Ethiopia. This seems to be a misrepresentation.
Tutorials on Eritrea and Ethiopia are not abundant but the two countries would be better of with NO tutorials at all in case the only alternative would be the hair-raising gibberish presented under this pretentious title.Everything this woman "knows" is based on the little bibliography she managed to consult and a number of utterly superficial conversations with the occasional passer-by. Beyond that, there is absolutely nothing eccentric and graceful about this book which would probably have looked exactly the same in case she would have travelled Ghana or Egypt or China or what this book in case you need warning about bringing toilet paper when visiting public toilets or in case you search a kid leaving a turt on a busseat interesting reading ...Otherwise: Forget about this irritating rubbish and Obtain Philip Braggs's perfect "Guide to Ethiopia" for practical info and e.g. Kevin Rushby's highly acclaimed "Eating the flowers of paradise" ... and DO go and vitit Ethiopia !
There are far better books that can give you a perspective of these two countries. This author's work is nothing but an attempt propagating a prejudiced, if not condescending, view of Ethiopia. I search her outlook insulting and patronising to Ethiopians and Eritreans alike. It is like a not good attempt of a 90's travelogue Evelyn Waugh's style, as it is steeped in colonial hypocrisy and unabashedly patronising globe view. A waste of my time, glad I didn't it, as I got it from a library.
Being a fan of H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction means also having to face the uncomfortable truth that Lovecraft the man was an unabashed racist and xenophobe. Needless to say, I was thrilled to come across Lovecraft Country, which promised to confront this head on, employing Lovecraftian tropes as a car for examining race and racism in 1950s ’s such an exciting premise, but it just didn’t deliver in quite the method that I had hoped. The story follows 22-year-old Atticus Turner and his family, who explore that they are inextricably linked to a secret organization that harnesses occult powers.Unfortunately, I had a hard time ever finding a rhythm. The book hops around to various narratives without enough focus on hero development, which left me feeling disconnected and uninvested. Rather than fully exploring the a lot of moral complexities at his disposal, Ruff instead delivers a convoluted plot that’s arguably more of an homage to Scooby Doo or The DaVinci Code than Lovecraft.I loved his idea of applying the cosmic existential dread at the heart of Lovecraft’s stories to the terror of being black in Jim Crow America, but the story lacked the awe and atmospheric tension that one would expect from a Lovecraft tribute. If I’m being honest, there really wasn’t any narrative tension at ch a amazing concept, but such lackluster execution. If I were rating it purely on the premise alone (and for that AMAZING cover art), it would be a 5-star book, but alas, a stellar premise does not create a amazing book.
Edna O'Brien, now in her 80's, has shared with us a lot of of her life experiences. Her prose is as lyrical and precise as poetry. I wS surprised to learn of her harsh upbringing, her calamitous marriage , and her social- climbing. However, because the memoir was so well- written, I plan to read more of her books. I recommend the memoir to older women and writers.
I wanted to love this book because I’d read two volumes of O’Brien’s short stories, and I believed that her memoir would be as energetic, as artful as the stories, and I don’t believe it was. And it may have to do with her attitude toward the volume:“I created bread. Broken piano or not, I felt very alive, as the smell of the baking bread filled the air. It was an old smell, the begetter of a lot of a memory, and so on that day in August, in my seventy-eighth year, I sat down to start the memoir which I swore I would never write” (4). Aha.Having said that, I do search a number of things about the book that are particularly rst, I love her devil-be-damned attitude about almost everything: her loves, her children, her abusive ex-husband, how she writes or doesn’t me lovely nuggets:“. . . I was too unsightly to be shown and therefore kept me hidden under the red herringbone quilt. ¶ Such is the ragbag of anecdote, hearsay, allegory, and consternation that filled the canvas of my early life, at once attractive and frightening, tender and savage” (8).“Men for me were either lovers or brothers; the lovers were more intimidating and often unobtainable, and though I dearly wanted to, I could never combine the two qualities in the same man. Richard Burton was a brother, and a bard brother at that” (198).“Places are at the heart of writing, and I was no match for that rugged globe of crag and granite and scree. I inclined toward softer, leafier places, ditches choked with wildflowers, weeds, and convolvulus, little rivers where the brown and speckled trout ran. I could not imagine myself into it, its dictions too gnarled for me.” (308).I found my attention waning at certain points (where there was small detail), and then pricking up again (as when she discussed her relationship with certain celebrities) at others. Perhaps other readers will experience the book differently.
This appears to be an illegitimate copy. The copyrights aren't present, known of the usual publisher information. The typeset unusual. The cover says three stories but it includes only 2. The Hunger Artist is not contained in this book. The country doctor story is printed twice and the 2nd time is mislabeled as the Hinger Artist.Would not recommend this arrived quickly and was in amazing condition but did not include the stories it claimed.
I really appreciated this book because it - very correctly - plays down the (Western media generated) hype about Islamism and other trivialities, and focuses on the truly phenomenal force of climate change. You just have to visit Pakistan or India - or any country in south east Asia and maybe even Africa - and realize, first hand, this is the true problem affecting people on an existential level - even though they themselves may not be cognizant of it. It is a sad fact that religious extremism and bombings are far more sexy than global warming and desertification. It would support if we just tuned all the rubbish that the media inflicts upon us and went out and experienced things for ourselves.
I read this book after having just finished visiting Australia for 12 days. I heard about the book from one of our tour tutorials and only want that I had know about it in advance. It is a mixture of history text, travelogue, and the author's private adventures. All of these are held together by his dry humor which abounds throughout. During the course of his travels he manages to search a dozens of out of the method and interesting things which he describes in such a method as to create me want that I had seen them with him. Obviously, he visited a multitude of areas for which I lacked the time but where our paths "crossed" I can only say that his descriptions and impressions mirrored mine so I can safely assume that the areas which we did not duplicate are equally accurately presented. Whether you have visited Australia, are planning to in the near future, or never expect to create it 'Down Under" this book is an simple read that is, truly, difficult to place down. I've posted a few pictures of my experience. The first is Ayer's Rock (Uhura) in the outback. The second is an Australian sunset. The third is a salt water croc on a river near Durbin.
Bryson is funny and engaging, and does a amazing job of describing the quirks, peculiarities and mortal dangers of Australia. He goes hilariously over the top on the deadliness of even the most common pests, and his description of the maddening bizarre dullness that is cricket (the sport) has me laughing out loud.I've been asked by Aussie mates what I thought of the book, as they enjoyed the heck out of it. that must say something. I'm really no closer to figuring them out, but that can hardly be Bryson's fault.
I have read everything that Bill Bryson has written, and he has never once failed to entertain me, but this book is one of his very best. I lost track of how a lot of times I laughed out loud, but I also walked away with a amazing of knowledge that I didn't possess when I began reading it. I discovered that I knew so very small about Australia and that what I learned from Bryson's "walkabout" was absolutely fascinating. I got to know a amazing more about Australian geography, culture, wildlife and especially history, the relating of which was at times quite poignant. As with all of this author's works, it was exceptionally witty and thought-provoking. These days, It's hard to search books that are of at least as high a quality as the PR they are afforded, and thus, this one is a rare treat.
Unbelievable story with lots of insight on relationships and feelings. This book is so relatable with the issues of teens to the damage of the past and finally about forgivness. I liked how the main characters didn't just hop into bed like so a lot of other books. These characters developed their relationship and you got an insight into what they were feeling. I really can't think of anything to criticize about the book. A very clean well written book. If you like that satisfied satified feeling when you obtain to the latest page - this is the book for you. Definitely 5 stars.
Not like any other Christmas album you are likely to buy. This collection contains everything from dittys from Christmas pantomime plays to weird, sad folk tunes of murder (with a Yuletide twist) like "The Standing Stones". It is worth the just for "Stuff Your Guts", a jaunty tune of gluttony, deceit and mockery of the French. Like I say, this isn't exactly "Frosty The Snowman", and that is a amazing thing.
Miracle Country A Memoir by Kendra AtleeworkMiracle Country is not only a Memoir of a Family, but also a Memoir of a geographic place, its nature, natural history and inherent disasters. In fact, the author has packed it so full, I was overwhelmed in the beginning. Just as I was in the throes of sadness as this very tight-knit family is learning the dire prognosis of their Mother’s medical condition, the author abruptly shifts to stories of California history and I had to turn back a couple of pages to see what I missed. These historical facts were interesting, but they distracted me from the emotions at hand. (yet often sent me googling to search out more!!) Until I got into the rhythm of the author’s story-telling, I felt like I was reading two various books. Nevertheless, this moving acc of a family and a place, where even the mountains have a personality (I loved Tom) has created a put in my heart and in my brain. Taking a walk in my neighborhood, I search myself muttering “Pukeorpassout” as the Midwest heat and humidity obtain to me! I leave you with a favorite quote of Pop’s that ends the story and is now a favorite of mine: “Landing is the hardest part of flying.” Thanks to #NetGalley and #Algonquin for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this attractive memoir. #MiracleCountry
By the early 1930s, Gerhard Schliemann knows that his family is no longer safe living in Germany because they are Jewish. He eventually finds employment in Turkey and soon his wife and two kids join him and attempt to adapt to life in their fresh country. This is a historical fiction book that not only follows generations of a family from the 1930s to show day but also the country of Turkey as it undergoes heavy changes throughout the years.What really drew me into the book was the setting of Turkey as it's not a country that is usually represented in WW2 historical fiction. It was almost like a hero itself because so much of what was going on in the country affected the actions of other characters. And while only part of the book takes put during the war, the author did a fine job in showing how relevant that time period is even in today's times.I really enjoyed watching this family throughout the years as they dealt with heartache, love, and betrayal and all the other items one experiences in life. They might have all been similar by blood but each person forged their own special path in only true complaint about the book is I thought there was one story line that had too much of a soap opera quality to it. It felt unnecessary and added just for drama's sake.Would recommend this book if you have fun historical fiction and/or family dramas.
I guess everyone has various opinions. Because I enjoyed this book so much, I search myself a bit surprised at the negative reviews some have left here. Bill Bryson's sense of humor speaks to me. If you have fun any of his books, I am confident you will love this one.I have read almost every Bill Bryson book (having just ordered the yet to be released One Summer) and I found this to be the best read yet. Like so a lot of of his books, "In A Sunburned Country" manages to entertain with humor, describing modern-day Australia while also slipping in historical (hysterical?) facts. I read this book while lying on the beach in the South Pacific. At times, (and much to the dismay of people around me) I had to place it down to laugh out loud. A lot of sections I have read again and again when I need a amazing chuckle. (BB's description of a cricket match is spot-on.)Mr. Bryson shares some fascinating facts and history in this book. These are not only typical recounts from history books. These are stories of daily people, scientific oddities and wonderful coincidences that tell more than just the history, but the uniqueness of Australia. Like he says, "Trust me, this is an interesting place." I would have to agree.
I recently have been on a reading jag involving inhaling as a lot of of Bill Bryson's books as possible. The recent milestone is his tour de force of Australia entitled "Down Under." Any travel writer - and Bryson is far more than a "mere" travel writer - who is able to create me wish to book the next flight on Qantas is someone worth reading. As he does in all of his books, Bryson uses his travels through Australia to feed the reader delicious and gritty morsels of history, culture and human interest. I was particularly motivated to read this book because I have a lot of mates and clients in Australia, and hope to visit there in 2017.I laughed throughout my reading of this book as Bryson relayed story after story of adventures and misadventures as he traveled thousands of miles in the Land Down e reviewer for the Fresh York Times said it perfectly: "If there is one book with which to obtain oriented before departure or en route to Australia, this is low me to share a brief excerpt from this work to give you a little taste of Bryson's style as he reacts to the antipodian continent and culture:Driving in a remote part of the Outback, Bryson found that the only radio station whose signal he could now keep was broadcasting an interminable cricket match. The author's send-up of the commentator's dialogue had me howling with delight."'Pritchard begins his long run in from short stump. He bowls and . . .oh, he's out! Yes, he's got him. Longwilley is caught leg-before in middle slops by Grattan. Well, now, what do you create of that, Neville?''That's definitely one for the books, Bruce. I don't think I've seen offside medium-slow-fast-pace bowling to match it since Baden-Powell took Rangachangabanga for a maiden ovary at Bangalore in 1948.'I had stumbled into the surreal and rewarding globe of cricket on the ter years of patient study (and with cricket there can be no other kind) I have decided that there is nothing wrong with the android game that the introduction of golf carts wouldn't fix in a hurry. It is not real that the English invented cricket as a method of making all other human endeavors look interesting and lively, that was merely an unintended side effect. I do not want to denigrate a sport that is enjoyed by millions, some of them awake and facing the right way, but it is an odd game. It is the only sport that incorporates food breaks. It is the only sport that shares its name with an insect. It is the only sport in which spectators burn as a lot of calories as players - more if they are moderately restless. It is the only competitive activity of any type, other than perhaps baking, in which you can dress in white from head to toe and be as clean at the end of the day as you were at the beginning."And so it goes for almost 400 rollicking pages. If you have not yet been exposed to the mind and pen of Bill Bryson, I invite you to take the plunge. Come on in; the water is fine. If you are already a fan, then add this to your long list of treasured Bryson
Wry, engaging, informative, and delightfully sassy. This is exactly what you wish and more than one would expect from what some may call a travel tutorial but would be more accurately described as a country's biography. The author writes with the glee and curiousity of a kid seeing the globe all new; a well-read foundation for the culture, geography, politics, and history of the nation/continent; a forgiving and generous nature; and a biting wit. It's a book I thought might lull one to sleep but it is difficult to set aside as it's such a joy. A fun adventure to read.
"How horrible, fantastic, wonderful it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing. It seems still more impossible that a quarrel which has already been settled in principle should be the topic of war." While that oft-quoted (because of its self-evident obtuseness) statement by the late British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (inopportunely broadcast on 27 September, 1938) was particular to the Czech Crisis, much the same can be said about the "War on Terror" and the situation in South Asia, today. Despite the ebb and flux of globe events, Pakistan, "land of the pure" repeatedly crests the wave. "Foreign Affairs" heaped accolades on Lieven's book and I cannot agree more strongly with that assessment: this is the best single book on the country currently available and best tutorial to evaluating US foreign policy as it pertains to the parlous situation in South kistan is of pivotal importance because of its geostrategic zone (bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast); its proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; the perennial conflict with India; possession of the world's fastest growing nuclear arsenal; the contentious relationship with its major military sponsor (the US); and its impact on Islamist-influenced terror groups regionally and internationally. Our direct (decade-long and manifestly unsuccessful) engagement in AFPAK is an extension of our years-long "covert" involvement in South Asia. That, in turn, dates from the Reagan Administration's decision to destabilize the Soviet-sponsored Afghan "Communist" regime via the use of proxy groups; the mujahidin. These "freedom fighters" (as the late US Senator Charlie Wilson affectionately called them) were jointly sponsored by the Saudis, US and Pakistanis. These mujahidin consisted of Pathan (ethnic), tribal (social), Islamist (religious), primitive (by most standards) groups who apparently shared only two or three goals: power, plunder, revenge. As a effect of the collapse of the Soviet effort, civil battle arrived in Afghanistan followed by a revanchist and irredentist scramble by Afghan Taliban and by Pakistan (again acting through proxies). In both cases, to control the region and impose a doctrine and in the latter case to "contain" India. Arms, money, Saudi-Wahabbism flooded the area. The situation became ever more unstable. The September 11, 2001 Fresh York attacks lead to the "War on Terror" with all its implications. That, in very brief summary, is what happened and why Pakistan is worth y members of past and current Administrations (be they in the NSC, Pentagon and its affiliated and subsidiary agencies, State Department, etc) frame their public statements about AFPAK in Manichian terms. Apparently, the rhetoric has been internalized, as US policy seems to with Afghanistan-Pakistan as emblematic of the struggle between the good, democratic globe of light, and an evil, globe of darkness: "Either with us or versus us", in the pithy aphorism of former President George W. Bush. Obviously, a more subtle and nuanced conception is needed given the magnitude of the issue and the obvious limitation of the current approach.Anatol Lieven has lived and worked in Pakistan and knows the region well. "A Hard Country" provides a detailed chronology (nicely summarized in Appendix 1) from c. 3300 BCE through 2010. The book is laced with statistics (e.g., in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, FATA, the male literacy rate is around 30% and that of women is about 3%) which are astutely incorporated into the narrative flow. Dour pronouncements lace the text: the region is topic to burgeoning population growth and far exceeds the carrying capacity of the arable land and water supply; the government is fundamentally corrupt; allegiances are ephemeral; alliances are transient and matters of convenience, only; tribalism, kinship and patronage rule; the military is the only stabilizing and relatively efficient governmental entity; illogic and paranoia permeate all strata of society; most modern decor is trashy; feudalism; nepotism; anti-American feelings are intemperate, endemic and ineradicable; US policy is aggravating matters...but, barring some really stupid maneuver by external forces, the country is "stable"...until the water runs out, that even plenty of evidence to back each of these assertions, this obtained in the course of numerous direct interviews, exhaustive research (the end-notes are quite comprehensive) and first-hand observation obtained over a lot of years. Here, for instance, is his analysis of the country's prospect for stability: "...very few political or intellectual groups in Pakistan and Pakistan's provinces actually wish to break the country up, whether because they are genuinely attached to it (in the army, the bureaucracy and much of the Punjab); because they hope to take it over and use it as a base for a wider programme (the Islamists); because they are afraid of Indian domination (Punjabis); because they are afraid that Pakistan's break-up would lead to a dreadful civil battle with other ethnicities (the Sindhis and Mohajirs, and even the Pathans...); or simply because the alternative looks so much worse (the Pathans, when they look across the border into Afghanistan). So one of the largest factors holding Pakistan together is fear."The author's blunt candor is refreshing and its presence is hinted at by the impish grin the author displays in his end-page photograph: "Most of this is doubtless adolescent posturing, but as far as anti-American sentiment goes, there can be no doubt. When I spoke to the senior classes (at Broomfield Hall, a school for the local elite, 'not the very top elite, who would go to the popular schools of Lahore, but their close relatives'), they were full of the same crazed conspiracy theories as the rest of society." How about this characterization of former President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's cousin ("..and governor and later chief minister of Sindh under Bhutto"): "He is a magnificent figure, a splendid representative of his class and caste;and about as much of a radical agrarian reformer as the Earl of Northumberland c. 1300 CE."There are basically three fundamental concerns about Pakistan: 1) its stability, 2) the help of successive governments for insurgents whose activities are directed versus India, the current Afghani government and, to some extent, the US and 3) how to with stuff 1 and 2. In regards to the first issue, Lieven asserts Pakistan is stable, this based on the concept that the inherent Pakistani traits of factionalism, tribalism, patronage and kinship prevent any concerted and successful insurrection and,if one were to emerge, the Pakistani Troops will see to it that the status quo prevails. Yet, in the (excellent) chapter on the Pakistani Taleban, considerable evidence to the contrary exists, as this "leaderless resistance" group seemingly has the durability, adaptability and connections to potentially cause a major and destabilizing disruption. Second, Pakistan, since its creation in "The Partition" from India following the departure of the British Raj in 1947, has framed its existence mostly as opposition to India; the perennial external nemesis. Sponsorship of Islamist guerrilla movements (Kashmir, Afghanistan) and directly supported terror versus India (e.g., Mumbai 11/26/2008) have done much to undermine the US-Pakistan relationship, leaving aside the inopportune discovery of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad latest year. Direct and covert military action by the US, followed by the much-expanded drone attacks favored by the Obama Administration have done small to enhance the relationship.I have only a single (albeit minor) quibble with the book: there is not a single map to be short, the relationship between the West (in general) and the US (in particular) requires re-framing, a point created by the author as the core argument of this book and subsequently in a "New York Times" editorial (November 1, 2011) entitled, "With a Mate Like This"; "Seeing Pakistan as an ally has not only obscured the reality of the situation, but has bred exaggerated bitterness at Pakistani 'treachery.' And since Pakistanis also believe that America has 'betrayed' them, the effect is a thin veneer of friendship over a morass of mutual distrust and even hatred. It would be far better from every point of view to admit that the two countries' policies over Afghanistan are opposed to the point of limited conflict -- and then seek ways to negotiate an end to that conflict." Incorporating the nuanced understanding of the multi-dimensioal AFPAK issue imparted by Lieven into US policy would do much to further that goal.
Anatol Lieven wrote an all encompassing and fascinating book about politics, family dynasties and provincial kinship corporations that defines the mysteries of Pakistan. I was intrigued to read about the lawlessness, the shady and corrupted officials and wondered why this country is not listed as a "failed state" since it has a weak and unresponsive government incapable of controlling the country at large. It somehow manages to survive amid the lack of civility, self-control and internecine violence between the multi-layered tribes, but it does not speak well for the biggest Muslim country in the Arab e name Pakistan is an acronym, born in the mindset of students at Cambridge University in the early 20th century. The partitioning would give Muslims a home where they could escape the hardships of Hindu hegemony. However, as they sought religious freedom, it turns out that tribalism, corrupt government officials, recalcitrant and entrenched-rival family ties trumped a meaningful religious life based on the Koran and the reverence of Islamic e British government, of 19th century India, played a role in the show day animosities over border disputes between India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. They may have erred in assigning administrative control of Kashmir to India since most of these sacred grounds are located in Muslims departed from India and Hindus left Pakistan, pogroms ensued as they crisscrossed. The vision of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, was to build an entirely fresh country that never before existed. Now, after more than six decades, it is apparent that the major focus of Pakistan is to have a military that is capable of defeating the Indian army. This option is preferred rather than policies geared to provide a competent and stable government that will broaden and strengthen the infrastructure to help the citizenry. This is a book worthy of reading and digesting because Pakistan plays a pivotal role in the quest for tolerance and peace in the region involving the Pashtuns, the Taliban, the Balochs and their interrelationship. Pakistan is indeed a hard country.
Plot: The official summary of the book only describes the first part of the book. After the family is involved in a surreptitious ritual undertaken by a secretive cabal, they search themselves in a struggle for power between different factions of magical practitioners. Throughout the book, there are several distinct stories that involve one or several members of the same black family in 1950s America, with all the racism that came along with that time period. The book is equal halves a look at the violence and hatred spurred by that racism, and the compelling plot filled with subtle yet strong magic. The title for the book, by the method is perfect, in that it's the type of fantasy that Lovecraft would write, but it also discusses how Lovecraft was an unapologetic pressions: The writing is crisp and clear, and the different stories all work together at the end to set up the book's final climactic scene. The only thing I didn't like at times was that each story delves into a type of magic that could be the topic of a book in its own right, straining my suspension of disbelief. Here you'll search ghosts and interplanetary travel standing out among the backdrop of magic. But once you obtain over that, the book is hard to place down, and once you start to see how it's all working together, it makes for a really enjoyable story. I would recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy mixed with historical fiction.
What an wonderful concept that Lovecraft Country pulls off showing the horrors that an African American Family with as they with the Jim Crow South in 1945 and an added layer of supernatural elements. This novel will create you think just how hard it was to be a person of color at time. This novel does tie into the film The Green Book as it was the book The Negro Motorist Green Book was inspiration for the Safe Negro Travel Tutorial in the book. This novel blends Science Fiction and Horror most notably H. P. Lovecraft, but it twist the tales to fit the black audience. H. P. Lovecraft told amazing tales but they have tend to be racist and reactionary of the times, so it was cool to see his e Plot: This book is told as short stories that are all connected involving two black families (the Turner's and Dandridge) and friends, as with magic, power, racism, and freedom. The main story is Atticus is found to have an ancestry of Braithwhite blood who are a strong elitist cult of warlocks, with ties to the Klan. They wish to perform a spell that requires a sacrifice of a Braithwhite, and they think Atticus is excellent for this. The kidnap his father and torment his mates and family. There's story that involve zone travel, potions that can turn people white, possessed African voodoo dolls, and Haunted houses.What I Liked: This book is massive in racism, but it is balanced in humor, how the Turners obtain out of a racist town, and a amazing moment when the reparations are back. The cover really captures the book having the Klan robes also double as tentacles. The Ruby story where she drinks a potion to turn white, and gets back at a white woman who accused her of stealing. The story of the Haunted house that's full of a racist ghost, but come together when the home is threatened by other racist. The characters are all written beautiful memorably it is a small hard keeping track of who is similar to who, but I eventually caught on.What I Disliked: It took a small to long for the short stories to all begin connecting, I honestly thought for the longest time they were not going to connect, so I ended up breaking up this book between other books, which I wouldn't recommend doing, because at the half method point everything starts connecting and I was like crap allow me go back and reread to create sure I obtain everything and their connections. I would've liked for the ending to be a small bit more epic, it amazing but it had a really amazing potential to be additional special. It took me about 40 pages to obtain in to this commendations: This book is my first 5 star of the fresh year, I will say it barely created it when I feel out a review I fill out the stars first, but going through all the things I liked and the difficult tone of this book that it did a really amazing job to pull off I gave it a rare 5 out of 5 stars. I think this is a amazing on to check out if you like historical fiction, supernatural, and science fiction, this is a amazing blend of all those mixed in with a dash of horror. I will say as horror element go the racism and tension of possible death by racist is scarier than any monster or horror in this book. Trigger Warning if racist language is a trigger for you, just be warned there's scenes of it used and brutality that comes with it but a lot of small off through out. satisfied reading, every one, would love to hear others opinions on this book since it was like a best of both worlds mix of horror science fiction and history.
I saw her picture and a short article about Edna O'Brien in a magazine at the VA Hospital..I read this book and am now hooked on her.. Even though I am a guy, this book blew me awaywith vivid descriptions of Ireland and other put she has lived.. Create me wish to go and visitIreland meet the people!
This is the second book I've read by Inglath Cooper. And while I really enjoyed That Month in Tuscany, this one was . . . ehhh.I found Grier, the main character, very difficult to like -- stiff, rigid, with a chip on her shoulder and an I-am-so-much-better-than-you attitude. By the time we found out why she was the method she was, it was almost too late in the story to feel sympathy. Cooper's use of little town, country dialect seemed forced at best, and the dialog was often repetitious and dragged out (was there a minimum number of pages she had to fill?). The whole book just seemed over written. Sadly, I'm not sure now whether or not I wish to test any of her others.
Fascinating. This is more than a memoir- it's also a short history of the water battles and how Los Angeles siphoned off that valuable resource from the Eastern Sierras. The more emotional chapters, of course, with Atleework's family and life. Her family was satisfied in the desert and the, sadly, when she was 16, her mother died, leaving her bereft. Thrown out into the world, she moves to Los Angeles and Minneapolis but nothing feels quite right until she moves home. It's always hard to review memoirs because it feels as though you are passing judgment on the author's life and life choices but that's not the case here. Atleework has created her family stand out on the page and equally importantly, conjured a sense of the nature and conditions in the desert. It's thoughtful and educational all at once- I learned a lot. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. A amazing read.
The author has a fabulous sense of humor and combines it with a an ability to turn a phrase in such a method as to create the locations and people he describes come alive. I haven't enjoyed a book this much in decades. It was an added that I read it while in Australia. If you've been to Australia or have any interest in going there, definitely read this book.
I read this a few years ago and it created me wish to visit Australia. I spent almost a month there latest summer and had a unbelievable time. Much of my trip resembled Bryson’s albeit seventeen years after his: Melbourne, Cairns, Amazing Barrier Reef, Alice Springs etc. The section on Uluru is pitch perfect. Reading this again helped me understand why I liked Australia as much as I did. Makes me wish to drop everything and emigrate there. Thanks Bill Bryson!!
Anatol Lieven's "Pakistan" is an amazingly informative and well written book. Part One introduces the nation and its modern history. Those who follow the shallow coverage of the western media will realize how much we have been misinformed. Part Two info the political, justice, religious and military aspects of Pakistani society. Part Three takes us through the huge and varied regions of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and the Pathans. Lieven's descriptions of the amazing cities of Lahore and Karachi are sufficiently fascinating that they may reshape the views of persons not intimately familiar with the nation. Throughout the volume the author carefully distinguishes between the Afghan and Pakistan Taleban and this discussion is wrapped up in Part Four. This knowledge is critical to any understaanding of how the Pakistani government makes decisions regarding its own longtrm interests which sometimes may be in conflict with current and temporary interests of the United States. Lieven's prose brings the zone and its problems into full focus.
Is it possible to separate the person from their art? Does knowing that the person whose work you enjoy, even admire, is a horrible person change your view of that work? I still have books signed by authors I don’t agree with like Orson Scott Card, but in storage. I still have the Mists of Avalon by kid molester and abuser, Marion Zimmer Bradley on my shelf. The creator of the Rurouni Kenshin manga and anime, Nobuhiro Watsuki, was recently convicted of possession of kid pornography. I can’t look at these works again without thinking of the wrongs committed by their creators.I never got into H.P. Lovecraft. I’ve tried to but just never could finish the supposed classic “At the Mountains of Madness.” But Lovecraft was such an integral figure in imaginative fiction that small did I know I was reading works that were definitely influenced by him. From Stephen King and Brian Lumley to the movies of John Carpenter, I’ve grown up with Lovecraft lore. Small did I know that this literary giant of imagination, this icon of genre fiction was a racist. I’m not talking about the casual racism of “he was a person of the times” that so a lot of other artists were back then. He was an outright white tt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country is not only a book inspired by Lovecraft but one about the racial attitude that Lovecraft shared with so much of America. Through its ensemble cast of African-American characters they will navigate through secret societies, sorcery, other worlds, ghosts, time travel, and Jim Crow e book takes its time to obtain to any incidents of supernatural horrors that are promised. Instead of a straightforward novel we obtain stories of novella or novelette length that are interconnected with each other culminating in a confrontational conclusion. In the first and titular segment, Atticus, his uncle George (publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide, a fictional counterpart to the true globe Negro Motorist Green Book) and childhood mate Letitia encounter horrors of America’s racism. From a easy stop at a gas station to just sitting at what is thought to be a safe diner, the experience of being Black in 1954 America can range from demeaning to life threatening. They are searching for Atticus’ missing and estranged father who is in Ardham, Massachusetts. Atticus originally misreads his father’s handwriting as Arkham, hence the origin of the title Lovecraft Country....What Matt Ruff accomplishes here can’t be called a delightful read. In fact much of it is incredibly uncomfortable. Not because of any eldritch horror, but from the historical context of America’s amazing sin of racism. There is a segment where Montrose Turner, Atticus’ father recounts his boyhood memories of the true life Tulsa Riot of 1921. The memory, as recounted, and as written by Ruff, stabs you in the heart....Yet, in spite of the true globe horrors, there is a strength in the characters that not only allows them to endure but to inspire. There is Hippolyta, George’s wife, who dreamed of being the first Black female astronomer ever since she was a kid and continues her love of the stars. She will feature in her own adventure while doing research for the Safe Negro Travel Guide. Her twelve-year-old son, Horace, wants to become a comic book publisher. Letitia Dandridge purposely becomes the first homeowner in a White neighborhood, so that it may begin the doors for more Black home ownership in the area. Each character, in their own way, wants to carve a put for themselves in a system that is designed to hold them down....Some readers may not like the method the book is divided into novellas that are interconnected. Personally I really appreciated it and perhaps he only weak segment would have to be the Horace centered story. But overall, Matt Ruff not only brings to life the hard globe of the characters but he manages to infuse them with an authenticity as well. These aren’t amazing heroes out to save or change the world. They are Black Americans making it through a shameful period of America’s past that is not really all that distant and not one that we have distanced ourselves away from enough yet.Highly Recommended
Just terrific. A amazing book for book club, everyone enjoyed it. Appeals on a lot of levels, and it fostered one of our liveliest discussions. Works on a lot of levels as a classic horror anthology, narrative on persecution and segregation, as well as an introspective into what makes a hero. The characters are all continually challenged and through their own narratives search special characteristic ways of dealing with those challenges. Perfect Job!
I had high expectations for this book. (Probably a small too high considering it was .99) If you like a very "clean" romance, you probably will like it. The setting for most of the book is little city Timbell Creek, Virginia, although the heroine is from Fresh York City. So it goes...girl leaves little city for the huge town and then goes back to little city when she really doesn't wish to ~ you obtain the idea. You can relate to the characters and the characters are well-developed. However, there were certain parts of the book that created huge jumps without enough detail given to the progression of events. There are no info to any of the intimate moments, which makes it a very "clean" romance for me. The hero, Billy Jack really does not "romance" the heroine, Grier. From the book blurb that I read, it described Billy Jack as a much more serious Bradley Cooper so I was expecting at least a few fireworks. (Fireworks just weren't there for me.) All in all it was an okay clean read with no fireworks or steamy moments in the book. Honestly, in a romance novel, I like a few intimate info without it having to be X-rated.
Another book by Inglath Cooper I love the stories. Story of a little city girl who goes to NYC makes it good, then the progress that take her back to her home town. Gries founds the whole thing crazy doesn't wish to do it but feels it is her job so she continues. She falls in love, meets her Moma. Love, sadness, death but thru it all Gries rely's she only feel at home in the little town. with the people she loves.
brilliant, highly readable acc of history, culture, politics, sociology of pakistan. perfect background for the works of rashid ontaliban; jihad in central asia; descent into chaos&pakistan on the brink - the latter two focused on pakistan. this book and rashid'sbooks deserve 5 stars - but i leave the fifth star to experts, as my opinion is strictly that of an interested amateur. alas, the recentattacks in and around peshawar - reportedly by taliban - on major secondary school and university tragically illustrate what challengesboth pakistan and afghanistan must cope with in continuing to build viable constitutional democratic polities to which bothcountries are (heroically) committed and determined to achieve.
Pakistan:A hard Country is an interesting book, written with an begin mind. Lieven's insight in the social and cultural fabric of Pakistan is special in the sense that what we as the natives of the country deem as the main vices, responsible for holding the country back-economically, political and even socially, he regards them as its main virtues, and its strength. Lieven's alarm about Pakistan's sole gamble on the river Indus, and about the population explosion, and Pakistan's complacency about the two looming disasters constitute the most relevant and most sincere analysis. Lieven has the power to attract the reader. I found his book highly interestingMohammad A Chaudhry
The method that Bill describes his travels to the reader is like a 3D diorama. The fly buzzing versus a screen, the opressive heat on an everlasting highway stretching from horizon to horizon, the fla- blown dingy hotel room and much less than cuisine meal served at out of the method dives really lends to the experience of riding along with him in the back seat. That is what makes a travelogue - the experience shared deep in the soul.
Allow me say, period pieces really are my favorite niche in any genre. While working as a colourful backdrop, it also ought to really become a hero in and of itself. That's to say, the characters within the story should be effected in some way, both amazing and small. You can't just say your on the 1950s and not have some sort of conflict within the boundaries of that era. And Lovecraft Country is sweating Jim Crow. Every action and resolution is weighed versus a concise and chillingly true understanding of what it was like for African Americans during segregation. I'm actually a huge fan of studying this precarious time in our country. Yes, there are lots of harrowing moments and events, but to me at least there are a lot of heroes that are born from the era. Author Matt Ruff capitalized on that, I think. His characters, the Berry's and Turner's, had to face extreme racism and happening he more subtle and more sinister forms of it, but they stood the test, in their own way. Atticus' father, Montrose, for example, I did not favor him in the beginning, to me he seemed a harsh kind of father figure, but later on, discovering his history and his ultimate notice to the black youth around him, I began to like him more and more. For the historic setting and the story surrounding it, top marks.But as a Lovecraft inspired work of fiction? Some debate could be made. There is a feeling, a vibe that tips at a cosmic dread, but nothing on the level as H.P. And for those looking for Lovecraft are bound to be disappoint, at least a small bit, right? And that's okay. Truthfully, I had hopes of seeing more of Lovecraft's world, not just having his work mentioned between a group of unlikely sci fi fans. The supernatural is certainly there, or as they call it "natural philosophy." But what Lovecraft Country really lacked was teeth, especially if stamping the title with Lovecraft's name. Lovecraft Country was like a PG romp into some rather serious problems dealing with race in America and reading the characters all coming out unspoiled seemed disingenuous. Fun, but not summary, Lovecraft Country works as a reminder and a warning regarding the legacy of Jim Crow America. The tension is clearly defined and some parts were hard to obtain past. The history was spot on and believable. But as a Lovecraft stamped title...it lacked that sense of dread, lurking monsters or not, that ought to come with every Lovecraft inspired book. An argument could be created that the dread was with the characters having to survive the effects of segregation, that the hidden lurking unfathomable monstrosity was in fact racism itself. Still, in the end it felt as if most things had been resolved, more or less. Parts of the book, which was designed in short story increments that connected eventually together, wrapped up too neatly. And the lack of death or any serious permanency felt strange compared to the true threat this part of our history posed to those who lived rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
This book takes the well-worn tropes of Lovecraftian “weird fiction”/horror and imbues them with the people, the settings and the mood of Jim Crow-era post-WW II America. In that it succeeds admirably. The horror is understated but real, the characters are interesting but not terribly well-drawn; in some ways they are sketches - outlines perhaps - of characters. The settings are well-drawn and compelling, especially the haunted Winthrop House and the manor house of Ardham, Massachusetts and its environs. The plot moves quickly and the book is simple to read - but in some sense it feels rushed, almost hurried. If this was a Stephen King look at the same world, it would easily be three times as long and would be all the richer for it. Alas, it is not. And while I certainly enjoyed the book - as most fans of this genre probably will - I can’t support but [email protected]#$%! had been longer, the characters and their internal selves explored in more depth (especially the antagonistic, supernatural family that serves as the deus ex machina of the entire story). I can only hope that the author chooses to revisit this globe he’s made and spend a small more time, takes happenings more slowly, and allows himself and his readers the opportunity to dwell a bit in the lush and looming horrors of this kind of story.
Edna O'Brien has led an interesting, if sometimes chaotic, life. For those who lived through the 50s. 60s and 70s, especially if you have lived in Ireland during the struggles of the IRA, this book is an added piece of that history. She is a amazing writer and keeps your interest in her private tales by not going on too long about any one subject. Her memoir also illustrates how far women have come in their journey to be treated equal to men and to be allowed a say in their own fates, whatever they may be.
This memoir seethes with life, an abundant life lived by a still vibrant Edna O'Brien.I really can't fault this memoir. Truly, it's wonderful; her sumptuous method with words ( She has a tremendous vocabulary.) magnifies a sumptuous life filled with memories from Ireland to Singapore. By the way, O'Brien never complains or seems testy as we follow her glories and her travails-- from being a "country girl" to becoming a sophisticated author and a globally known personality.We read about her family, her schooling in Ireland, her first romance (a same crush), her escape from convent life ( and a pharmacist's life) into the arms of her husband, who turns out to a tyranny of sorts ( He's treated rather generously, I think, in this telling). We obtain unbelievable descriptions of her homes ( temporary and not) and their environs. We hear her guilt about being separated from her young boys. We suffer- a bit- with her when she has writer's block. We share her multitudinous mates and acquaintances ( a lot of of them authors) with her. A lot of lovers, too; this is an necessary part of who she is. ( Some reviewers say that O'Brien name-drops a lot. I don't feel that this is the case. She describes these people,of course, as part of her life, which is full, but not in a method that appears to be bragging. Not pompously at all. Just part of who she is.)The author is a product of her ( our) times but more than that. The times as seen through her eyes are lush and sparkle with the life she's lived and is living . One of the best memoirs I've read recently.
Down a Country Street by Inglath Cooper is full of tropes, but combined in novel ways that added a lot of angst to the main character, as well as a few twists on familiar tropes, to make an interesting tale of love and ier McAllister left her hometown of Timbell Creek, Virginia behind and never looked back. She went to Fresh York City, and after a long struggle created it as an photo consultant. When the TV studio wanted to cast some little city girls for a reality present to "date a Duke", they picked Grier, with the stipulation that they must be from Grier's hometown, and Grier can't pass up the opportunity, even if she had to go back and face some ghosts of her past, such as her mother, who had changed a lot... and her old boyfriend and his hot brother. But the hot brother comes with the baggage of a daughter and a divorced wife, and the daughter was one of the candidates (something daddy vehemently opposes, but mommy approves). As Grier helps choose the candidates and with ghosts of her past, she will come to realize that perhaps, this city wasn't just her past, but perhaps her show and future as well.Without spoiling the story, let's just say Grier will have to face the ghost of her past in the form of her mother, who she just ran away from so a lot of years ago. I search the idea that "girls must be from your hometown" rather forced plot point, as it doesn't logically create sense. It also created an interesting variation by having Grier fall for the old flame's brother, rather than just fall for her old flame again. There were no dull moments as the POV jumps around a bit, as you obtain to see how the hot brother argue with his ex-wife (who's in town), the Duke in town, conflict with the daughter who is tired of the fighting between her parents, struggles with fame and publicity, and much more. Author was able to juggle all the bits into a coherent story with the only forced part about being "must be your hometown girls". All in all, rather liked the story.
I love this author. This is the 7th book I’ve read of hers. I’m hooked! I’ve got my daughter and sister hooked as well.I loved this story of a little city girl which ventured into the huge town to change her circumstances. I loved the hero of Grier being a powerful independent woman. Grier heads back to her little city finding a love for it and confronting the fears of her is book is filled with happiness, sadness, forgiveness, and staying real to who you n’t wait to read another book of Inglath Cooper’s!
It is only recently that I have discovered Bill Bryson, and in short he has managed to become one of my favorite authors. This work is the epitome of what a travel book should be. Bryson seamlessly weaves together history, wit, insight, and private anecdote into a memorable tale that greatly increased my desire to see this enormous and remote rstly, it is clear throughout the entire length of the book that Bryson genuinely loves this nation. My appreciation of his affection may be somewhat heightened by the fact that I also listened to the audio book (read by the author), and his tone betrays his endearing lack of subjectivity. His love of the people does not hold him from making some sharp comments about particular topics however. He observes that Australians tend to engage in the art of argumentation without actually wishing for change, as with the subject of them becoming a full-fledged independent republic. Also, he doesn't pull punches when relating how some of the inhabitants of this amazing nation were anything but e historical narrative he weaves into the tale would undoubtedly be more interesting when traveling through the towns and countryside. Brief historical sketches of the little communities he passes through tend to be boring but his more generalized Australian history about the founding is fascinating and well told. The countless failed explorations into the interior were mostly forgettable, but they successfully conveyed the brutality and ruthlessness of the natural Australian environment. Also, the migration of peoples 45,000 years ago onto the continent was right on the nail.When discussing the plight of the aboriginals he makes some cutting observations about the Aussies and himself. After mulling over the `problem', and considering ways that the position of the aboriginals in Australian society might be bettered, he finds that he has no genuine answers to the problem. "So without an original or helpful thought... I did what most white Australians do. I read my paper... and didn't see them [the aborigines] anymore."His humorous obsession with deadly animals continues in this work as well, as he documents fish, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians that are particularly adept at maiming and killing unsuspecting or careless travelers. Also, he makes note of the introduction of wild rabbits onto the continent by Thomas Austin, a resident of Victoria in 1859. The 24 rabbits originally released for sport soon grew to a population in the millions. Temporarily curtailed by the governments' introduction of a rabbit-killing disease, the hardy survivors eventually began breeding again until the figures reached a staggering 300 million (at time of stly, the most personally impactful aspect of the book is Bryson's narrative style. As an avid traveler, I log my own journeys and document where I've been, as well as interesting tales, brushes with death, etc. His descriptive ability is superb and he draws the reader into the scenes with a comic and conversational style. His lonely encounters in bars, awkward picture taking with other solo travelers (as they stare at an enormous fabricated lobster) and drunken nights with his traveling companions are hilarious and genuine. I hope to bring his vividness to my next trip, when writing about it later.Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who likes travel, has gone to Australia, or wishes to go in the future. He inspired me to do so, and even created me believe that Uluru (Ayers rock) might be worth seeing, and not just the world's most useless geological artifact. Five stars.
Bottom Line: The first time I read Edna O’Brien’s was several decades ago. I read it again more recently along with another of her novels and some short stories. I wanted to be refreshed on the work of a woman who had given me entre into the globe of Ireland and women and left me feeling like I had experienced a time and put unknown to me. I search her memoirs lend the suspicion that her fiction was mostly her autobiography only better organized and written. Country Girl, A Memoir is a definite read for her fans, but I am not sure who else will like O’Brien’s lack of interest in writing this book is clear. Being a memoir it need not be any of the things a biography should be. Sequential, based on fact, complete all not here or not consistently. We do obtain what seems like her honest point of view about herself and her first husband, but the rest of her people who matter come in and out of focus or have their names obscured. For example there is a second husband, I think or maybe three, she is not as exacting in tell about her loves as the failed love that produced her at we only obtain her side of that first marriage is understandable. I am not certain that she intended for his every negative prediction about how Ms O’Brien would live and raise her children would prove true. Not to give away too much, she admits to a hedonistic lifestyle, it was the 1960’s after all, and the children are sent away to British Boarding schools. Her ver of herself is better than these two facts suggest but for years at a time we read small of substance about her kids, and almost nothing about who they became as e writing itself is in the school of assemble pieces as they emerge from a fog. Detailed set ups that trail into incomplete finishes. Too a lot of popular names with too a lot of of them passing by rather than listed for a reason. She will form friendships with a lot of unlikely people including at least one I will not mention hoping to surprise you as it did me.Having finished Country Girls, I can say that the person rather than the happenings are informative about O’Brien’s inner self. I tend to believe she is telling us her truth, warts and all. I am not sure but that you would know her better from her fiction.
Having read O'Brien's "The Small Red Shoes" as our book club read for Feb '17 and following with several online reviews and links to some of her latest articles, I decided to read her autobiography. Both were related with interesting, engaging beginnings but ending with a lot of seemingly unrelated divergent stories. I had hoped to search a linear description of her development as a writer, but her story jumped around with small focus on writing but lots of name dropping - too often without any context as to why they were relevant to her life story. But no doubt she was famous as an intelligent, beautiful single woman. Her recollection that the first books flowed easily from her experience affirms this reader's belief that nearly everyone has a compelling story to share. Her long career as a writer with lots of ups and downs colourful by celebrity and travels while never quite finding Mr. Right reflects the reality that the interesting life is not always one that is safe, secure, and without emotional or financial turmoil. On this St. Patrick's Day, I toast Edna O'Brien as a fine example of female independence! Place that in your pipe and smoke it!
When I first purchased this book, I had high hopes when it came to seeing how Lovecraftian elements were combined with the racism of the United States. And to create create sure I had an informed review, I did go ahead and finish the entire book. There are certain things I have to give to Ruff: the pacing is decent and the variability of narratives keeps the globe convincing and dynamic. However, I have to say the most "Lovecraft" part of this book is the cover. At the heart of Lovecraft's work, beyond the cults and the madness and the magic and the unseen monsters, there is a deep-seated fear of the unknown on a cosmic scale. For this sort of fiction, we are consistently reminded how unimportant we, that our lives are a mere blink amidst the cosmic horror of things we will never understand. Throwing a cult, dark magic, malevolent beings, or even the meta-reference of the Necronomicon into a book does not create it Lovecraftian. Period. As terrifying as racism is, it is something we can grasp as it does not extend beyond our globe or into other dimensions of being. For that, I cannot give Ruff anything beyond the baseline recognition of his prose.
I really enjoyed this novel. I came in expecting more of the Cthulhu-style cosmic horror a la the title's namesake, but Ruff has built something so much more impressive in Lovecraft Country. While certain monsters and shoggoths do create brief appearances, the horror here is very much manmade and driven by Jim Crow and race-obsessions. The past weighs massive in the book, which takes put in pre-civil rights America, as a series of sorcerous cults circle a closeknit group of black mates and family in the Chicago area. The novel is really more of a novel in stories, featuring successive sections that take horror tropes and turn them on their heads. I thought I wanted more existential dread and terror from this book, but the confidence exuded by our protagonists in the face of unknown horrors is perfectly drawn and justified - how terrifying can a tentacle-beast be when you've grown up in a globe where you life is threatened because of your skin color?
A truly superb work of fiction. It has all the Lovecraftian themes one could hope for, a lot of occult societies that perfectly mimic true life ones, in behavior of not in abilities, and paints a excellent picture of the period in time when blacks were legally and officially treated as second class citizens. It is both tongue in cheek and serious. It has e story progress in vignettes, but they all tie in to the overall narrative seamlessly. There's neither a boring vignette, nor one that doesn't perfectly move the story along. Hero development is unbelievable with the possible exception of Ruby, who comes across a bit too one e villains, especially the main one, are understandable, and probably not villainous in their own eyes. They simply have goals that may not be shared by the protagonists, and a total disregard for others' rights, which again is logical considering that civil rights were still far in the e use of an Adamic language is a nice touch, and reminiscent of Enochian, an actual "received" angelic language channeled centuries ago by John Dee and Edward Kelly, and reputed to be the language of creation. A lot of of the themes regarding the occult have obviously been researched carefully, and of course tweaked with fine poetic license.I'm going to have to look for more books by the same author. This book was a very enjoyable read.
Personally, reading this book left me feeling that I know so much more about Pakistan than I did before, & that I understand so much more than I did before, & yet, because of the spiral, inter-connecting, complexities of its society, history, culture & the sheer inundation of all kinds of -isms at play, it left me feeling that I still cannot construct a cogent mental summary of what I had read.But that's me. And, I reckon that that's real of Lieven too. Meticulous in his research, & frank in his commentary - Lieven himself seems to search these rich connections, document-able, & still somehow nor summable into a whole. But that's not to take anything away from the amazing work that this book is. It is neatly, to the extent possible, divided in themes - introductory, evolution of Pakistan as a nation state; societal structures: justice, religion, military, politics, & then the states ending with a chapter on the Taleban. Note that economics is a glaring miss- except as a chapter in the introduction - but as you'll realize, this grouping is probably right from the point of view of what really are the defining structures in Pakistan, & economics, sadly, is not one of chapter after chapter, Lieven weaves - for writes seems terribly limiting - the Pakistani experiences together. The concepts of justice are twisted by ideas of honor, religion divides;India unites & patronages mean a more equitable income distribution at the cost of a weaker state. Radicalism & progress are both thwarted by a lot of plural & powerful identities & the commentaries of a lot of Pakistanis - diligently documented by Lieven - either add to this complexity or illuminate depending on your own ability to connect the deluge of dots ere are certain attempts at humour in a largely serious work just as there is a certain amount of sympathy & empathy that emanates from Lieven about Pakistan where he seems to have spent a lot of time. This is particularly apparent to me, as an Indian, when Lieven, with some degree of regularity, compares the "negatives" in Pakistan with India, & finds them no worse than the Indian experience - & does not cite anything where India is perhaps comparatively better.I recommend this book highly because of its nuances & info & the insights its brings. The fact that stitching these isolated insights into a coherent model of a country remains a painstaking task says more about the country than about the book.And I would have loved to have seen more on Pakistani food, melody & [email protected]
This book is a truly illuminating study of modern Pakistan, a very huge country about which far too small seems to be generally understood by U.S. analysts and policymakers. Pakistan is too often dismissed as a "failed state", and/or analyzed purely in terms of its value (or lack of value) to the U.S. as an ally in the "War on Terror". Instead, it is a highly complex amalgam of a lot of various societies, where powerful divisive pressures strain versus strong unifying forces. One of those is a broad anti-Americanism among the Pakistani people, due in huge part to U.S. policies since 2001. In regard to Pakistan, Lieven argues, those policies should be reconsidered, given the long-term risks of increasing Pakistani instability.Anatol Lieven is admirably qualified to with the topic: he is both a journalist (reporting on Pakistan and Afghanistan for the London Times) and an academic/thinktank scholar. His book combines the readability and color of amazing journalism with the thorough research of scholarly work. It is also based on extensive interviews with a lot of Pakistanis from all walks of life, and all regions of the country, which gives it an engrossing human e book starts off with an overview of the Pakistani system, which he describes as "weak state, stong societies". He examines the critical role of kinship and patronage relationships, from an anthropological as well as a political view. And he briefly reviews Pakistan's history since Partition. Here, I found myself turning to Wikipedia etc. to fill in missing links, since the author's review assumed more knowledge than I had -- possibly because I'm an American, a British reader would probably be more familiar with this , he turns to the primary structures of modern Pakistan -- justice, religion, politics, and above all the military -- devoting a chapter to each. Then, in a section which I found most useful, he devotes a chapter to each of Pakistan's provinces -- the Punjab, Sindh (and Karachi), Balochistan, and the Pathans (that is, the North West Frontier and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas). In each, he looks at the social and ethnic differences within and between regions, and at how that is reflected e final section is on the Taleban -- the Afghani Taleban, the Pakistani Taleban, and the attitude of Pakistan's people and government to his conclusion, Lieven says that "it has been above all the US-led campaign in Afghanistan which has been responsible for increasing Islamist insurgency and terrorism in Pakistan since 2001". Earlier, he has established that insurgency as perhaps the most critical issue facing Pakistan's government. U.S. policy with affect the method in which this plays l in all, I found this a very informative, interesting, and readable book, which I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in South Asia, or, indeed, in US policy.
This is a superb profile of Pakistan by a Westerner who has spent years living in and traveling around the country. The insights are deep, and they convey the complexity of Pakistani society with just the right balance of conceptual framework and revealing stories. This book should be needed reading for every member of the U.S. government who has influence over America's relationship with Pakistan. The book has changed my own formerly simplistic view of Pakistan: I now see it as a critically necessary country that is struggling with very complex legacy problems - a lot of of its own making, some resulting from its colonial past, and some caused by U.S. policy. Anyone wanting a more informed, insightful understanding of Pakistan should read this book.
The book gives a fascinating, exhaustive review on the highly complicated Pakistani society with its myriad cross-loyalties important for survival, other than to a remote government. These powerful cross-loyalties to family, religion, guild and, or local officials with mutual electoral dependence seem a key feature in shaping Pakistani society. My private knowledge of the region is gathered only from reading, not from actual visits. Books like these, and the posted reviews here with constructive critical comments give me a much appreciated look in. Brim-filled page turner, recommended.
I loved this book, I honestly believe that I could turn around right now and read it again. It is that good! I have read almost all of Inglath Cooper's books and have loved each and every one of theml. If you have not read her books, I highly suggest you obtain started and I hope that you won't mind leaving some of the house work undone for a while because "you will be reading"! LOL
This is a little city romance story of Grier McAllister returning to her hometown of Timbell Creek. She has had disheartening memories created there but she makes every effort to leave these memories downstream. She realizes her mother is various now but she does not wish to confront her. And, there's no method she wants to be attracted to her old boyfriend, nor his brother. Hah, you can see where this is headed and you'll be so happy with this novel. Inglath Cooper is a wonderful, famous author. Highly recommend.
I just read my first Inglath Cooper book in two days. I decide to obtain another (this one) and was slightly worried when it seemed to begin a small slower. This book picks up pace and turned out wonderfully pleasant. I'd highly recommend! A amazing combination of romance, heartache and laughter.
The Eastern Sierra is a land of wild winds and wildfires. In 1892, Mary Austin arrived at the Eastern Sierra and wrote, "You will search it forsaken of most things but beauty and madness and death and God."Once Paiute harvested fields of wild rye and love grass, before ranchers arrived to summer their stock. The cattle devoured the crops and the First People starved. Bill Mulholland stole lake water to grow Los Angeles. Drought depletes the wells while the streams are diverted to LA.A woman from the Amazing Lakes and a man from the California coast were drawn to the sublimity of the high desert. They met in a band and went on a hike. They birthed two girls and adopted a brown-skinned 's hard to know how to fix a smashed globe at sixteen, at fourteen, at eleven.~ from Miracle Country by Kendra AtleeworkTheir idyllic life was smashed with their matriarch's early death, spiraling the kids into their personal hells from which their father could not save leework left for LA and then the MidWest. The hills burned. The dust blew arsenic. Her father's well dried up. But the beauty of Atleework's homeland brought her back from her wanderings.Whiskey's for drinking. Water's for fighting over.~from Miracle Country by Kendra AttleeworkThe environmental cost for the growth of cities is central to the story and raises ethical questions about water rights. "We live in a landscape damaged beyond repair," Atleework writes, "and we see our loss magnified the globe over."The story of water in Owens Valley...was a sad story of wrong done, a near tall tale with a suit-coated villian and cowboy herons. ~from Miracle Country by Kendra AtleeworkThe valley's discovery by American soldiers and the settlers eager to displace (or annihilate) the native people is the story of European attitudes that 'built' the country while also destroying leework's Miracle Country was a pleasure to read, gorgeous in prose, intimate as a memoir, and wide-ranging in its portrait of a land and its people. Highly recommended.I was given a ebook by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
I did finish this book, but it took some effort. I kept asking myself, "what just happened?", and had to re-read a page or so. I really did not care for any of the characters and thought the book was tedious reading. On the other hand, it did give me some insight into what the early settlers faced on the Oregon Trail. I picked this book because I have fun reading about the early west and the reviews were very good, but not a book I would recommend.
I would not have read this book had it not been highly recommended by my son. It is not a period setting that appeals to me. Being of American Indian heritage, the settling of the west, and the method it was done, is not among my favorite topics. That bias aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is beautifully written, (and by an "untrained" author, she apparently didn't need to be "taught" how to write). The imagery and the brutal depiction of the hardships of the trek west, particularly for a woman, were vividly presented. A lot of of the thoughts and how they were expressed will be with me always. A lovely book, I look forward to making it a part of my "Favorite Books Library", for future reading and recommending.
I don't understand all the glowing reviews of this book. Thank goodness I got it for my Kindle when I was notified by that it was on sale. It was 2-3 mos before I got to around to reading it &, of course, by then I had forgotten what it was about. That usually isn't a issue but it was here. This book starts in what I was taught is called "in medias res", i.e. in the middle of things. I had no idea of the time period, where he was going & why, what had happened to him, why he was in such poor shape or exactly what was going on. I had to guess. Then the chapter ended & started a fresh one w/ a various set of folks but the same questions. Some reviews say what unbelievable descriptions of wagon train life & scenery. I've read several pioneers going West books & in comparison I thought this had very small of that. In fact it took me quite awhile to figure out they were on a wagon train but still don't know where anything took place. Another confusing thing, as some mentioned, that the story goes from their show time back to someone's past & it's had to tell when. The author often talks about 2 males then uses the pronoun 'he' so you don't know what 'he' she is talking about. I thought a lot of the words & phrases were very awkward making me wonder if maybe English, or at least American English, wasn't the author's first language. There were quite a few segments where I had no idea what the heck she was talking about or trying to say. I was going to give up one it but came back & read the reviews again & saw one who said the 2nd half is better so I kept going. I think it is actually Book 3 that does improve but there are still a lot of the same issues w/ it. I did [email protected]#$%! but it was tough. So poorly written. It wasn't worth the $2-3 I spent on it & that was so disappointing b/c I like this time period. The other books I have read were perfect but this one is dreadful.
This book unfolds slowly over the hard travels of an Oregon-bound wagon train. There is much to learn here of the difficulties on the street and between a group of strangers thrown together in almost wonderful hardship. The writing is so beautifully descriptive, the characters are so real, the sadness and the sweetness kept me totally enthralled. Read this book -- you will never forget it.
"A husband, a wife and some children is not a family. It's a terribly vulnerable survival unit." This is just one of the examples from "A Man Without a Country" that proves Kurt Vonnegut's brilliance. In just this subject - the demise of community and extended family - he captures much of what is wrong in our consumer-society of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.Kurt Vonnegut has long been an observer and commentator of the human condition through some of the most well-crafted prose ever written; and the recent events in a globe that seems to have gone a bit angry have fueled a fire a lot of of us thought retired at 84 and waiting for death (I seem to remember an interview where he mentions this). But, I am now convinced that our own self-inflicted injuries as a society have at least given us one bright hope...that Kurt Vonnegut might continue to live a long a productive life for a amazing longer. It is obvious that the current state of affairs in the globe have Mr. Vonnegut angry - hopping angry - and he is writing about it.While pointing out how messed up we are, Mr. Vonnegut is also telling us to lighten up. This book is hard to sum up in a short review, but I think that I will allow one latest quote from this unbelievable book do the job for me: "We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't allow anybody tell you any different.">>>>>>>
A Man Without A Country is a surefire hit for any Vonnegut fan. The book is a collection of ideas and short writings from the mind of 82 year old Kurt Vonnegut. The writings are reminiscent of a modern day blogger which is ironic considering Vonnegut's dislike of technological advance. I feel that his writings in this semi-memoire were quite amusing, well organized and inciteful. His feelings on battle and the current state of this country are a small off the beaten path but they begin your eyes to another method of thinking. I was also very impressed by his comparison of gasoline/petrolium to drug addiction. Overall this is a amazing book and a very fast read. Vonnegut will surely go down in history as one of the greatest writers of all time.
When I was a teenager in high school, my English teacher had us read "The Scarlet Letter". There's nothing wrong with Hawthorne, but my teacher was so dry in her delivery that Hawthorne has been ruined for me even to this day. Across the hall, though, some of my best mates had drawn the "cool" English teacher. As we bumbled through passage after dry passage of Hawthorne, our oscitance was interrupted again and again by uproarious laughter coming in from across the hall. My mates in the "cool" teacher's class got to read "Breakfast of Champions". Those of us struggling with Hawthorne felt as if we had been cheated.And indeed we had been; no book was more relevant to the "malaise" of the 1970s than "Breakfast of Champions" (sorry about that semicolon, Kurt).Of course, "Breakfast of Champions" is banned in schools today. Why? Because too a lot of of those students who were forced to endure "The Scarlet Letter" have taken control of our country. It is as if they are trying to say, "Bugger. If I had to sit constipated through Hester's monochromatic passion then so do today's kids." Now these same people sit constipated in Congress and in the White House. (So you see, Kurt, it's all your fault really.) Kurt Vonnegut laments the loss of our nation's soul, with deep, searching satire brilliant in its brevity, but he misses the main cause of our nation's angst, which is, in a word, constipation.Well...Kurt Vonnegut is not currently constipated, thank goodness, and somebody besides me is reading his items because by the time I could obtain my hands on a copy of "A Man Without a Country" it was already in its eighth printing. I am not sure that I have ever read such intense satire composed in such brevity; I am not sure that any book on the tables today is as thought-provoking and far-reaching as "A Man Without a Country" (sorry again about the semicolon, old man). Wise teachers in schools today would slip this book in under the radar (under the fiber therapy?), and attempt to reverse the generational despondency of those who were forbidden to read "Breakfast of Champions".
Exquisite telling. Characters of such deep integrity. The landscape and the cultures moving through it so vividly rendered. The medicine of this narrative is not easy, but I found it deeply healing. The wounds are real wounds. Honored in the telling. And love in all its striations. James and Lucy, they are family to me now. I am grateful.
The very first chapter of this book, although it drops the reader directly into the middle of happenings not yet understood, was vivid and heartrending, holding promise of a true story to come. Unfortunately, it was a false begin to a book whose first half turned out to be a true slog, to the point that several times the reader may be tempted to give it up (as I almost did).The method that the early chapters jump around chronologically before the reader is familiar with the characters (which takes some time) is confusing and disorienting. The main story line (after the first chapter) gets off to a very slow start. The picture of life on the Oregon Trail that the author creates feels quite authentic, but far too much of the first half of the book is preoccupied with Lucy Mitchell’s internal romantic thoughts and James MacLaren’s contemplation of his wife, his children, and Lucy. The author is a very amazing descriptive writer and an astute observer of human character, and produces elegant prose that is often introspective and contemplative, even bordering a few times on the profound, However, most of this part of the book reads more as I’d imagine a well-written Harlequin romance would be written, rather than the novel of the Frontier I had hoped for.Any readers who can persist despite all of this may search their patience eventually rewarded as the second half of the story picks up a bit. Although chapter transitions still occasionally disorient to some extent, this gets a small easier to manage as the reader becomes better acquainted with the characters. Happenings begin to move more quickly for awhile, but ultimately there is no true climax to the story; at the end, the reader feels more like the writer just ran out of story rather than arriving at the end of a journey. This is likely because the book is based on and built around an actual six-page narrative of true happenings in the author's possession, and as such, was not actually ever intended to be a novel.
KV creates by 'running off at the mind'. He has a amazing imagination, so everything around him prompts a response - some funny, or not, or prophetic, or insightful - just something. KV's always thinking - about literature, the arts, environmental problems, war, the family, the country, capitalism - and more, much more. "Running off at the mouth", we know, is not praiseworthy, but 'running off at the mind', a la KV, I'd say, is. KV has written here a nice small book. R. Amos, Severn MD
Huge Vonnegut fan. Funny, private and fulfilling. Know this is not a novel, but a collection of several essays (that read more like one long one). If you are a Vonnegut fan, this is a must read. He melds his personal/political views with his own private history while referencing fond characters and plot lines from his novels. Short, but very sweet.
This was one of the best novels I have read in a long time. First, the writing is absolutely spectacular. Fisher's use of figurative language to describe the pioneer's trek west puts you there with them. I have never read a book that so well describes the physical and emotional journey these people took. The main hero is an unwilling pioneer, taken from her lovely home because of her husband's desire to go west. On the trek the family crosses paths with another pioneer, an immigrant from Scotland. The relationship between the wife and the Scotsman is developed with sensitivity and practicality. The ending is not the one I wanted, but it was realistic and - for the main characters - it was the only possible ending. The book also explored the concept of Manifest Destiny, and gave an intimate look at Native Americans during the Westward Expansion. I loved this book.
Wonderful book that will have to serve as a semi-memoir for a amazing man. This is the only book I've read by Vonnegut, but it was so good, I took my family to visit his memorial library in Indiana. My daughter read the book out loud on the method home. We were all very moved.